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saying good-bye to the pope benedict xvi. his resignation shocked the world. this is the last televised event before the soon to be former pope departs the vatican for his summer residence at castel gandolfo. >>> good morning. pope benedict xvi will spent the final hours of his pope with the cardinals. nbc's anne thomp soj is live at the vatican. let's start with the meeting with the cardinals, first, what is going to happen there? >> what will you see, mara, the dean of the college of the cardinals will welcome the cardinals to the vatican, officially do that, then pope benedict will come in and he'll be greeted by each of the cardinals. there are about 100 cardinals here and the greetings will not be long. each one will come up, kneel before him and kiss his ring. but what is interesting is that perhaps, somewhere in this 100 people could be his successor. and it will be -- you know, people, vatican watchers will be watching very closely to see if there any kinds of signs or signals or favoritism to one of the possible successors or another. you know, people will being looing at this
benedict's legacy, that he has changed potentially of how we look at the papacy, how those cardinals that go into conclave view the papacy in viewing the position that one would hold for life. >> it may be kind of a water shed, setting a new precedent. but i think one of the things that's important to realize is that even though this decision is so new, and it's so bold and it took so much courage and strength to make the decision, it actually reiterates and confirms a truth about the papacy that we have always held in the catholic church that. the papacy was really an office that was established by jesus christ. it doesn't belong to the man. it's not about the man who's the pope. it's about an office that was established by god in order to bring to help the church have unity and to guide the church throughout the tum multis of history. there's been a lot of tumultuous periods in the history of the church. but by making this statement or making this move, this decision, the pope is reminding us, well, it's not the pope that runs the church. it's really god. we really believe that the
benedict divests himself us as he leaves the papacy, that ring, and all of the ring before will be destroyed. >> destroyed using a silver papal hammer and there will be no ring until the conclave and the election of a new pope, it was very interesting that here in new york our cardinal dolan said that he and other cardinals will sing a psalm as they file into the sistine chapel. and is that something that's typical, liz, is that traditional, or is that unique to this conclave? >> i think in particular, these psalm of pent nance is part of the lenten a framework. but, also, it's part of the sistine chapel proper. indeed, as you look at the ceiling, the very last images the very last prophet, then you get to that resurrection of joan in the center. it's fitting for the time, it's fitting for the space and it's fitting for this particular occasion as well. >> let me bring ann thompson back in. you were saying earlier that the pope won't do what's traditional at many of these audiences which is to allow a number of faithful to kiss the ring and receive the blessing. he has deci
on "andrea mitchell reports" live pictures from vatican city. where pope benedict xvi shocked the world today and some of his closest advisors announcing he will step down as the leader of the 1.2 billion roman catholics at the end of this month. he will be the first pontiff to abductate in 719 years. >> today signing a lack of strength. the pope said i have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted me. reactions are pouring in. >> i think pope benedict xvi legacy is his engagement of faith with the modern world. >> i feel particular -- a particular bond with him and a note of sadness, to be honest with you. on the other hand, my appreciation for him, which was already high, is enhanced a bit because with the sense of realism that he has such an esteem for the office of the successor of st. peter, which is what the pope sshg the bishop of rome, the successor of st. peter, he says, you know, i may not be up to it now, and perhaps i can best serve jesus and his church and his people by stepping aside. i have to admire him. >> and here at home one day ahead of p
the successor to pope benedict after that shocking decision yesterday to step down. and another big story we're following is back at home, because the president is putting the finishing touches on the first state of the union speech of his second term. and we'll have a lot more on that coming up in this hour. but this morning, we are starting to get new information about pope benedict, and particularly about his health. decisions that may have played into his shocking announcement to abdicate. for example, we now know this morning, the pope has had a pacemaker for some time and actually had a minor operation to replace its batteries three months ago. we're also hearing for the first time about a fall he took while he was on a trip to cuba in mexico. just hours after his announcement, this video circulated. you can see it shows lightning striking st. peter's basilica, maybe leading some catholics to wonder if it was some sort of sign from above. a sign of what, that's also a source of speculation here. i'm joined by elizabeth lev here in rome. good to see you. >> great to be here. it's a real
by the pictures of the extraordinary affection for benedict xvi, and i think he'll return it to the crowd and thank them. i think he'll acknowledge the great universality of the church. i would expect there to be strong spiritual words from this man today. >> people who have been around the pope the last several days describing his manner as serene. as someone who saw him on ash wednesday, both in audience in the morning and the ash wednesday mass in the evening, that's exactly how he looked to me. he's not someone who wants a lot of attention or prone to flashy good-byes, but do you think we'll see some emotion from this pope today? >> chris, pope benedict's serenity comes from a mature mind, well formed spirit, a man of real spiritual discipline, great student of the bible. on his day of resignation, he said jesus christ is the real leader of the church, the true ruler of the church. i suspect he'll say something of that today. in addition to what is an energetic atmosphere, an unsettled atmosphere. the church is moving into uncharted waters beginning at 8:00 tomorrow night. and while i
. today, stunning news from the vatican. i wonder if god was surprised to learn pope benedict is stepping down. >>> i'm s.e. cupp. millions of americans captivated by the search of a successor. the picking a new pontiff. >>> i'm steve kornacki. president obama has tossed out the old olive branch. coming up, a man who himself helped write four state of the union addresses explains who us how it takes shape. >>> i'm krysa tal. should the president go big by thinking small? it's monday and you're in "the cycle." >>> after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the petrine ministry and the pope abdicated with only eight years on st. peter's throne shocking the 1 billion catholic faithful around the world. the's not a papal abdication in more than 700 years and surprised the close est adviser today. he's a theological conservative with strong positions against homosexuality, women priests and the use of contraceptives. the last day in the vatican is february 28th.
on quicken loans. >>> good morning. it has not happened in more than 700 years, this morning pope benedict xiv announced he will resign, saying he doesn't have the strength to go on. it shocked even new york's cardinal timothy dolan. >> i'm as startled as the roast of you, except for prayer, i don't know what else to do. i'll await instructions like everyone else. >> the 85 years old leader will step aside february 28th. the vatican says they hope to elect a new pope by easters. the pope made the announcement in latin, saying, quote, after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to a certainly that my strengths are not -- the pope's declining health has been an issue. he goes to and from the altar on a moving platform, so he doesn't have to walk down the long aisle. sometimes he using a cane. his brothers says the doctors told hi not to take any more transatlantic trips. >>> he is also an nbc vattian analyst. george, good to see you. you and i are in somewhat frequent contact, as you send out notes about what's going on, but did anybody really see this coming? i no
minutes, pope benedict xvi is expected to board a helicopter and leave the vatican for good. he also said he will pray for them as they choose a successor. joining me now father robert ber rain. and investigative journalnyist and daily beast intruder. 2:00 eastern time, the pope is going to read the first in 600 years to step down. talk to me about his legacy, father. >> part of the interpretation of vatican 2. both he and john paul ii saw their papacies an attempt to interpret vatican too properly. not so much a modernization of the church, vatican ii was an evangelical missionary council. to some degree modernizing to make the church a more apt meaning to that. hence the wide travel for example of john paul ii, hence the great teaching of benedict xvi. i think that's his major legacy. >> they're very different at least in their style and in their i guess pastor abilities in some way, although not very different philosophically. >> this has been a really unsuccessful papacy and the greatest single act of his papacy is that our church is in real trouble and i am not able to cope with the
church are going to be looking for a new pontiff after pope benedict announced yesterday he is stepping down. the decision stunned even his closest aides even though the 85-year-old hinted in the past that his age and waning strength could force him to resign. he was elected in 2005 and will stay on until february 28th. his plan to meet for that secret enclave to select a new leader. we have a report from vatican city. >> reporter: the day after the shocking announcement that he will resign on february 28th, more details are emerging about his decision. the vatican's own newspaper said that this decision was taken at least a year ago after his trip to cuba and mexico in march 2012. that's when the pontiff realized he's just too old and too weak to perform his duties as the holy father including, of course, long distance travel. while the speculation now is ripe whether there is any other reason behind his decision. in an interview in 2010 during the scandals that engulfed the vatican and the catholic church including the pedophilia scandal and later the butler scandal with him leaking d
we are stuck in the stalemate. pope benedict xvi prepares to leave the vatican and his departure is over an hour from now. we will have the latest on his emotional farewell and what happens next in picking his successor. then back at home, the day at the supreme court over a challenge to the voting rights act. two big city mayors from states that could be affected by any changes. >> good morning from birmingham, michigan. it's february 28th, 2013 and this is chuck todd. >> i think you are a spartans fan. i saw green. i hope i'm not wrong. the end of an era to the catholic church. unprecedented in modern times. we are counting down to a pope's retirement. the final hours as pontiff. he spent his last day meeting with cardinals and pledging unconditional obedience to his successor. the arch bishop of new york was in the room and described the meeting on the today show this morning. >> we catholics call him the holy father. the italians call him il papa. to see him fragile and having what i consider to be a remarkably humble and courageous decision, it was very moving and a tender m
linguist. we've become accustomed to it with john paul and with benedict. now it's pretty much expected of him. i think that's right what liz said about him, the father quality of the pope. that's a great advantage to have. >> and as you also look at him -- and he looks like an 85-year-old man, and you realize the stress that must have been on him, certainly in the run-up to this and the decision that he finally decided to make. but just the wear and tear of preparing. we know that yesterday he had something of a down day. there's packing to be done. there are papers to be gone through. there are decisions to be made. and he will be going to castel gandolfo, which is the summer residence of the pope, where he will stay until a more permanent residence is finished. they have been doing renovations on the old monastery on the grounds of the vatican. he's someone, liz, who really -- it's not a job that he can go home at 5:00, and he puts his little time card in, and it ends. this is a man who for the last eight years, when most people would want to be retiring -- and, ghiin fact, he planne
>>> benedict xvi becomes the first pope to abdicate in 700 years. >> his final day begins with a meeting with the cardinals who lined up one by one to say their personal good-byes. as the pope pledged unconditional obedience to his successor. >> we catholics call him our holy father. he is like the papa, the daddy of the family, and to see this gentle, learned, lovely holy man, to see him very fragile, to see him having made what i consider to be a remarkably humble and courageous decision, it was very moving. it was a very tender movement. >> pope benedict then left the vatican by helicopter to begin his retirement at castle gondolpho where emrerjed a while ago to greet well wishers who have gathered in the paizza. piazza. the papal summer retreat will be benedict's temporary residence. he will be watching from the sidelines as the cardinals begin the task of choosing a new leader for the catholic church. also in rome today secretary of state john kerry meeting for the first time with syrian rebel leaders to announce a major shift in u.s. policy, but is it enough? for the
confirm. >> pope benedict is going to be stepping down as head of the catholic church. he apparently made this statement within the past few hours in latin. during a small canonization event saying he doesn't have the strength anymore. once again, pope benedict will be resigning as head of the catholic church. we'll have much more on this story as the details come in. we are told that this will be happening fairly rapidly. >> they're talking about february the 28th. that he'll be stepping down. and of course, it was pope benedict who stepped in and became pope after pope john paul ii, the iconic pope of the 20th century, stepped down. of course, pope john paul ii had been pope since 1979. and so, of course, his impact felt not only in the religious world but also the political world. pope benedict, though, never really, of course, given the chance to emerge from the shadows. and it seems that for a good bit of his time, he was dogged by allegations that came through the child abuse scandal throughout certainly before his reign. he was constantly being dogged by questions regarding that. b
, of course, but nobody has done it since 13th century. well, the pope benedict xvi said it two years ago. if i feel like my strength or he kept it general, if a pope doesn't have the strength to carry on to perform his duties, it is very important duties for the 1.2 billion catholics around the world, he should step down. it's something that nobody's even considered in modern times. even john paul 2 who was much more ill or much more tired looking and ill, of course. he was very ill than pope benedict xvi looks and he said i had enough of this and just going to retire and read and live a spiritual life until the end and leave it with somebody younger and stamina. who that guy or pope will be, we don't know yet. we'll know soon. >> all right. thank you very much, claudio. let's bring in nbc news vatican analyst george wigle and father thomas at georgetown university. gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us. george, you have been on air all pretty much throughout the day. your initial reaction to this news, especially knowing what the pope said two years ago? >> i wasn't surprised at t
jansing in for tamron hall. following the resignation of pope benedict xvi. the man who will in a minute no longer lead the church. this is his temporary home. we expect to see something that's always followed the death of a pope. the swiss guard both beloved tradition and entrusted with the very real job of protecting the pope will stand down. once he is no longer pope, their job is done. and they will await the election of a new pope. covering this historic event along with me, claudio lavanga is live. also with us, elizabeth lev and father john bartunic, author and priest based in rome. claudio, a crowd gathered as we saw earlier today when the pope came out on to the balcony and saw him publicly as pope for the last time. >> reporter: that's right. that's right, chris. there are still people here to witness that historic moment that will mark the real end of the pontifficate of pope benedict xvi. the church bells started to ring. take a look at you are at that door. the summer residence of the pope. those doors in literally 30 seconds or a minute are going to close down. you can see
. >>> pope benedict xvi breaks centuries of tradition and shocks the world with his sudden resignation. tonight the director of the acclaimed hbo documentary "mea maxima culpa" joins me for exclusive reaction. >>> we'll have the latest on the largest manhunt in california as the largest manhunt in history continues. >>> plus, dick cheney. sit makes sense? >>> roger ailes is making accusations of racism. >>> an unhinged nra board member, ted nugent, is making an appearance in the chamber for the president's state of the union address. >> if barack obama becomes the president in november again, i will either be dead or in jail by this time next year. >> we'll tell you which member of congress invited him. good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. every now and then in this business you get a feeling about a story. you know, we need to talk more about this. there is not enough conversation about what is going on here. and i want our audience to grab these numbers tonight because a lot of things can happen between now and march 1 that aren't good for the economy. i want
originating in eggs, sprouts, and vine vegetables. >>> the vatican this morning is revealing pope benedict hit his head during last year's visit to mexico, but officials deny it had any significant role in his resignation. today the pontiff has been meeting with the pastors of rome's parishes. the conclave of cardinals will meet next month to pick benedict's successor. let's bring in the former director of the office of peace, justice, and integrity of creation for the sisters of charities. sister, good to see you. >> thank you. good to be here. >> let me start with this. as the cardinals get ready to pick the next pope, what issues would you like the next pontiff to address? in the "new york times" criticizing the vatican saying that they accused nuns of pushing radical feminist themes this from a year ago. there's also an issue of women in the priesthood. >> well, certainly the role of women in the church is a critical issue in the church today. and for the world today. and so i would whole heartedly support an expanded role and that expanded role based really on the dignity, the value, the
pictures from the vatican. pope benedict xvi is stepping down today. this morning the 85-year-old pontiff is spending a few moments exchanging words with the cardinals before he heads out on a helicopter to the papal residence south of rome. >>> all right, now to developments on the civil war in syria, roughly about an hour from now, secretary of state john kerry is expected to announce a u.s. policy shift when it comes to aiding the rebels. kerry is in rome for an international conference aimed at dealing with the conflict. for the first time obama administration plans to offer nonlethal assistance in syria. the reports say that the aid package could include body armor, communication equipment, night vision gear and vehicles. the white house however is stopping short of providing weapons. senator marco rubio of florida, has a slightly different take on how the u.s. should help. >> there are plenty of weapons in syria. they're coming from other countries. . what the opposition really needs is access to ammunition. one thing that we can consider, is if we can identify responsible groups, a
efficient pick-ups. ♪ wireless is limitless. >>> pope benedict is shedding the ruby loafers to begin a life of prayer, while lawmakers in washington are praying that tomorrow doesn't sink them from the polls. it's thursday, february 28th, and this is "now." >>> joining me today staff writer for "the new yorker," msnbc political sxlois former dnc communications director the always classy karen finney. i'm going to have to do this for everyone now. msnbc political analyst and executive editor of msnbc.com, our favorite import from the united kingdom, richard wolf, and from bloomberg business week -- look at the corps there -- senior national correspondent josh green. just minutes ago the world saw pope benedict appear for the last time as head of the catholic church. the pope took a short helicopter trip from st. peters basilica to castle gondolpho, a hilltop villa. two hours from now the swiss guard will leave their posts, and benedict will cease to be pontiff. benedict announced his title will be pope ameritus and said he will not return to private life. the last pope to abdicate, 719 years
in for me on friday when i was snowed in. when pope benedict xvi announced today that he would resign as pope, that he would abdicate the papacy, the move was greeted, frankly, with shock. that is something that has not happened in 600 years is happening right now. but it was also clear immediately that even though nothing like this has happened in 600 years, or 598 years to be exact, the catholic church nevertheless had a plan ready to go. even though no pope has resigned his seat since the year 1415, and this resignation announcement today from pope benedict was totally unexpected, despite all of that, there is apparently an agreed upon protocol for what happens in an instance like this. once pope benedict leaves the vatican on february 28th, the church says he will go live for a while in castle gandolfo, which is the pope's summerout house in a small town outside of rome. he will live at that castle while construction work is done on a cloistered monastery inside the vatican complex. then when the construction is done, he will move back into the vatican. and living in that cloister
have i i don't in italian across their chests. well, big news out of the vatican today. pope benedict xvi has now moved up the date of the conclave to gather to elect his successor. as another cardinal is still touched by the continuing sex abuse scandal. nbc's ann thompson joins me from rome with more details. first of all, the timing of the conclave, i know the rules allow the cardinals to move it up. what is he saying? when do you think this will begin? >> that's a good question, andrea. despite the pope's actions today, we still don't know when the conclave will exactly start. what the pope did today is give the cardinals the permission to move up the start date with this provico, that all the cardinal electors, all those cardinals under the age of 80 that will vote for the next pope have to be here to decide on the new start date. so the cardinals will start gathering on march 1st, the day after benedict retires, and perhaps they will take a vote, make a decision either march 1st or march 2nd. right now the early date seems to be march 10th, but it's just a guess. nobody is reall
with advanced stain blocking, only at the home depot, and only $31.98 a gallon. >>> this week, pope benedict the xvith shocked the world with the announcement that on february 28th, he is going to become the first pontiff in nearly 600 years to step down as the leader of the catholic church. pope benedict's resignation c n coincides with the beginning of lent, the 40-day period of self-denial and repentance in which the catholics reflect on the teachings of christ. the pope will be replaced by the end of lent, and no later than easter sunday, so it is important that the cardinals tasked with finding a new pope and leader of faith. my next letter going to the pope. dear, cardinals, it is me, melissa. i remember being taught by a priest from south africa and i sat alongside people from south africa and i remember lay women from the north side of chicago and then i appreciated the global inclusiveness of the church and despite the differences we shared a genuine engagement of catholicism for social change. as you know, catholicism goes beyond those who hold the reins in vatican city, and the g
. >>> a huge turnout at the vatican today as pope benedict blessed the faithful overlooking st. peter's square. cardinals will vote for a successor. now we may see white smoke rising from the sistine chapel earlier than expected. >> reporter: alex, 50,000 people came to hear the pope. double the size from last week. this is the first pope in modern history to resign the post. he spoke in six languages and thanking them for prayers and support and adding in his german, that these were difficult days. the crowd in turn responded with respect and affection. in rome, where there is no shortage of must-see attractions, suddenly pope benedict is the main stay. this crowd was worthy of a rock star. his exit from his last public mass on ash wednesday turned churchgoers into paparazzi. the season of lent is now a celebration of the 85-year-old pontiff. the hottest ticket in town benedict's final audience on february 27th, the day before he steps down. 35,000 people have already requested free tickets says the vatican. but this extraordinary step creates an extraordinary problem. the church will have tw
benedict is number one on everyone's list. today he delivered his weekly prayer from his balcony just as he has for nearly eight years but this crowd was worthy of a rock star. his exit on ash wednesday turned church goers into paparazzi. the solemn season of lent in vatican city is now a celebration of the 85-year-old pontiff. the hottest ticket in town, benedict's final audience on february 27th, the day before he steps down. 35,000 people have already requested free tickets, says the vatican. but this extraordinary step creates an extraordinary problem. the church will now have two living popes. >> there are lots of stories -- >> reporter: author george weigel is an nbc analyst. >> technically there are not two popes. he ceases to be pope at 8:00 p.m. february 28th. there has never been a bishop of rome for 1700 years. i think he will make that work because he will simply retire into the deep background and not be seen in public. >> reporter: in meeting with rome's priests benedict said once he steps down he will remain hidden from the home and will live in this renovated monastery and c
between 15 and 20 days after pope benedict steps down at the end of the month. the vote could be held earlier than planned. joining me now from rome, nbc news vapt cannon list george weigel. it is very good to see you. as we get to the process of selecting the new pope, how soon can that begin and do you hear these reports as well that it may go earlier than expected? >> i do. i prankly think that's a very wise idea. the 15 to 20-day provision in the current constitution that govern it is election of a pope, was created to allow time for a i did any tied funeral mass, a period of mourning for the deceased pope, and a set of meetings among the cardinals and then the enclosure of the conclave. of course, there is no funeral this time. so when the seat becomes vacant at 8:00 p.m. rome time february 28, i would imagine, indeed i would hope, that about a week would pass before the conclave would be enclosed and the voting process would begin. this is simply a matter of amending the apostolic constitution which is the pope can do or he can assign the authority to the dean of the college of
have spoken to feels that the curia has really done a disservice to pope benedict xvi, and i think what was clear in that washington post article is that his butler gave those documents over to the investigative reporter here in italy not as a way to hurt pope benedict but, rather, to show all the infighting and betrayal that goes -- that has gone on in the curia and that was an impediment to the reforms that benedict tried to put in place. the big focus of his papacy has been the re-evangilization to get catholics particularly in western europe and in north america excited again about their faith. to say anything that the next pope needs to clean house -- >> it's a communication strategy, something this pope hasn't had. andrea. >> ann thompson. >> for the tenth anniversary of the iraq war. it's been a decade, and tonight msnbc is air this documentary -- in this excerpt prosecute the film congress votes to give president bush the authority to launch a war against iraq when his secretary of state colin powell has the doubts on that war. >> joint resolution is passed. without objection --
." this week marks pope benedict's last as head of the catholic church. benedict gave his final sunday blessing to a crowd of 100,000 faithful followers yesterday in st. peter's square, telling them he is not abandoning the church and that he will continue to serve god. meanwhile, cardinal keith o'brien, the head of the church in scotland, has announced that he is stepping down amid accusations of inappropriate and intimate behavior with current and former priests. the pope has reportedly accepted cardinal o'brien's resignation. >> god, mike, i tell you what. whoever the next pope is, they need to go on an all-out hunt. just no matter how ugly it gets. that actually could have been pope benedict's grand legacy over seven years. >> and it's not going to be. >> it's not going to be. >> no. they need to open the windows of the vatican. they need to let a cleansing ear come through, they need to clean out a lot of things. they need to be much more open about the vatican bank and the finances of the vatican and the conduct and behavior of priests and higher ranking members of the hierarchy. >> if th
benedict resigned. the daily paper says an internal report uncovered an underground gay network at the vatican much more could come from the paper. the newspaper says this is just the first in a series of reports. nbc's claudio lavania is here for us. what more did they disclose in this report? >> reporter: well, tamron, it is certainly well respected here in italy. the first or second biggest newspaper here in italy and usually good sources. well, what this paper is saying is that in that report, 300-page report of the internal vatican inquiry in to the scandal was so disturbing that pope benedict xvi decided to leave there and then and two months before the official abdication. it contained details about the inside of the vatican and lobbies that were -- it was power clashes of the lobbies that broke two, as a matter of fact, of the ten commandments. the first one, commandment number 6. thou shall not steal. that's a reference to the vatican bank accused of money laundering. well, also broke according to the report commandment number 7, thou shall not commit adultery. also tho
details if you may. we have learned today that the pope benedict xvi addressed when he retires inside vatican walls as pope emeritus his holiness benedict xvi and wearing white but not a cape and not the famous red shoes that are typical of all popes. what it looks like, this has raised a few eyebrows because when he comes back here, two people addressed at holiness and you have to look down and watch out for the red shoes. tamron? >> thank you very much. greatly appreciate it. >>> and digging out from a record setting blizzard tops the look at news around the "news nation" today. at least three people killed in snow-related accidents. hurricane force winds in texas and snow drifts up to seven feet high. the snowfall broke the 100-year-old record in wichita, kansas. more than 100,000 customers are without power. >>> and new data shows the housing market recovering is accelerating, recovery is accelerating. new home sales in the u.s. jumped to the highest level in 4 1/2 years. experts say steady job creation and new record low mortgage rates are motivating people to buy homes. >>> and
entered the equation. >>> up next, pope benedict has officially stepped down and the search can begin for his successor but the church is in crisis and it needs the next pope to right the ship and that's ahead, and this is "hardball," the place for politics. rs on their 401(k) to hidden fees. thankfully e-trade has low cost investments and no hidden fees. but, you know, if you're still bent on blowing this fat stack of cash, there's a couple of ways you could do it. ♪ ♪ or just go to e-trade and save it. boom. ♪ >>> i'm hampton pearson with your cnbc market wrap. an earlier rally faded leaving the dow with a 20-point loss. the s&p ends lower by a point. the nasdaq down 2. >>> the latest read on gdp shows the economic -- the economy grew at a scant 0.1% annual rate by the end of last year, the slowest since the first quarter of 2011. jobless claims dropped more than expected last week and groupon shares are higher after hours after the company ousted its ceo. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." ♪ >>> we're back. 85-year-old pope benedict th
macfarlane is hosting. it should be funny. >>> about 100,000 packed st. pet peter's quer. pope benedict told the faithfuls he would not abandon the church. i understand there seems to be a new complication involving one of the key cardinals playing a role in choosing a new pope. tell us about the new wrinkle, if you will. >> reporter: it looks like a day doesn't go by without a cardinal being implicated into a scandal of sexual nature. we heard of cardinal mahoney of los angeles and sean brady of ireland being implicated of cover ups. today was the day of cardinal keith o'brien from scotland who is the highest cleric in the catholic church of britain. he is being accused by a number of priests, three priests and a former cleric of inappropriate conduct or inappropriate behavior that is believed to be of sexual nature about 30 years ago. the vatican hasn't reacted to those allegations that were made today. a source goes and says that the pope is being briefed about the new scandal this afternoon. in the meantime as it happened for cardinal mahoney and cardinal brady public opinions against th
, chuck. now to the drama surrounding pope benedict. as they find his successor, the pope himself will not be playing a role. chris jan sising is live for us rome. >> there was a lot of speculation since we haven't had this happen since the middle ages. what would be the impact of having a living pope when a new hope was being chosen. the vatican heard that and premature criticisms. they did say that the pope plans to have nothing to do and exert no influence over the choice of the next pope. here's what we know about what the pope's schedule looks like. he will tomorrow have his regular wednesday audience. the first chance for the public to see him since he made the shocking decision to advocate. once he retires on the 28th, at the end of this month, he plans to go to casa gandolfo and come back to the vatican to what used to be a monstastery and go into quiet retirement. each though the top aides to the pope have known for months this would happen, they are just starting to have formal contact with cardinals who didn't know anything about this until he made his decision. a lot o
-- we were told by the spokesperson that pope benedict xvi accepted the resignation of cardinal o'brien. when we asked he was not allowed in to the conclave, he said that's not for the pope to decide, it is only a decision that a cardinal can take. cardinal o'brien did take that decision and made it public shortly afterwards and published a statement saying that he didn't want all the media attention on him and even offered his apologies to those he may have offended due to his failures. well, this sets an important precedent. i mean, never before a cardinal renounced to his right to participate in the conclave. the election of the new pontiff. the highest moment of any cardinal in the catholic church, of course, due to a scandal engulfing him. of course now all eyes on mahoney of los angeles. he's said that he will come to rome to vote anyway despite the scandal that engulfed him, accused of covering up abuses by priests. he was meant to oversee in the past. let's see if the cardinal's decision will change his mind. tamron? >> thank you, claudio. more now on cardinal roger mahone
city, where more than 100,000 gathered in stst. peter's square to hear pope benedict read the angelus to the faithful one final time. anne thompson joins us. the world just saw benedict xvi on that balcony window for the last time. what's the mood been there to y today? >> reporter: i think a lot of gratitude and also sadness to see him retire. but peoplens why he wants to retire. he's 85. he told the crowd that he's not going to abandon the church, alex. he said that in instead god has asked him to lave life of more prayer and meditation, and he says that's more appropriate for someone of his age and his strengths. >> yeah. you know, not to besmirch all this, but there were some reports circulating in some italian papers about blackmail being a reason why the pope was stepping down. how does the vatican address that? >> the vatican has come back very strongly against those reports, alex. they were in a paper called la republica this past week. and the vatican took the unusual step yesterday, the vatican secretary of state, of calling -- of issuing a statement calling the situation b
. peter's square for pope benedict's final audience this morning, cheering and waving signs that read "thank you" in italian. anne thompson is live for us at the vatican. and anne, i know the pope gave a reason for why he's leaving. what did he share with the crowd? >> reporter: well, he told them, chuck, it was a very personal address during his final papal audience. usually those sermons are a lesson on religion, but he spoke quite eloquently about his eight years as pontiff and why he was stepping down. he said his eight years had been filled with joy and difficulty and he said at some times, he felt like the lord was sleeping during his eight years. he acknowledged, again, that the reason that he was stepping down was because of age. he fired back at his critics, as much as a pope will fire back, saying that, you know, the critics who said that the pope should not come down from the cross, he said, there are different ways to serve on the cross and that the life that he has chosen of prayer and meditation, that will begin thursday night, that is another way to serve the church. ag
this morning. pope benedict xvi has given the cardinals permission to start up the date of the conclave. there will be one fewer cardinal in that conclave. keith o'brien, head of the church in scotland, has resigned after he was accused by three priests and a former priest of inappropriate behavior. let's bring in nbc news vatican analyst george michaels, senior fellow at the ethics and policy center. george, so more than 100,000 people turned out yesterday for the pope's pin am sunday blessing. but have you all this controversy out there. let's start with cardinal o'brien. this is a man who has been outspoken in his views against homosexuality and when there were calls for l.a.'s former cardinal to stay home from the conclave because of his role in protecting the abusive priests. here is what the cardinal said. >> if someone erred in some way or another that does not -- judgment and other matters. >> probably not exactly the statement that people would have wanted to hear from him. so he's decided to step down. was this the vatican pushing him out of the conclave? >> reporter: i think
shows that pope benedict is well liked and the majority of emergency 64%, to be exact, support his unusual decision to abdicate next week, while considering a popular pope with the 54% favorability rating he is 13% less popular than his presses predecessor likability rating. not personally as popular, pope benedict xvi does have something on pope john paul ii, the catholic church experienced a 6% increase in favorability, up from 56% during pope john paul ii's tenure and that's what the survey says. >>> coming up, she beats out her husband in almost every popularity poll. now michelle obama is back on the road and we'll look at what the second term may hold for the first lady. >>> first, the latest from south africa on where the olympic star accused of murder is now a day after being released on bail. you're watching msnbc. i've always had to keep my eye on her... but, i didn't always watch out for myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they eve
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